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Chinese Slang Series – Lesson 4: N

July 21, 2011

Today’s Word: N                             

Nope, you’re eyes aren’t playing games with you, this week’s word really is,


“But, wait, that’s not Chinese?”

True. However, English letters and words have become intertwined in some aspects of the Chinese language. This here is the true Chinglish:

卡拉OK - Karaoke

T恤衫 – T-shirt

AA制 – To go Dutch; split the bill 50/50.


Do you remember in algebra class using the letter “n” as a variable? Well, the Chinese took that meaning into their daily conversation by turning “n” into something an abstract, but large number.

To better explain, just think about when you’re mother said, “I’ve told you a hundred times to clean your room!” In Chinese, she would say, “I’ve told you ‘n’ times to clean your room!”

Example Sentence:


- I’ve told you a hundred times to clean your room


- I’ve watched this video a million times, and it’s still interesting.

YouTube video (link)